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Dark Star Jubilee: Starting off fast

The Werks
The Werks
John Patrick Gatta


Starting off the the third annual Dark Star Jubilee over Memorial Day weekend at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio, Dayton, Ohio’s The Werks showed that the quartet keeps getting stronger as a musical unit. After catching the band during late night sets, it felt odd watching the members in daylight but minus the lighting effects the band still succeeded.

Keller William played with funk-soul project, More Than a Little. The 90-minute set weighed heavily on the debut album, “Funk” with Keller sharing vocal duties with Tonya Lazenby Jackson and Sugah Davis on covers including the Grateful Dead’s “West L.A. Fadeaway” and Parliament’s “P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up), Flight of the Conchords “I Told You I Was Freaky” and Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.”

Dark Star Orchestra played an original setlist that spanned two sets and over three hours. It began with “Box of Rain,” featured welcome surprises such as “Till the Morning Comes,” “Big Railroad Blues” and vocalist Lisa Mackey reading Lewis Carroll’s “The Jabberwocky” during “Space.” The evening also featured special guest, fiddler Nicky Sanders of Steep Canyon Rangers, who joined in on “Mama Tried,” “Big River,” “Cumberland Blues” and “Space.”

Playing among a heavy amount of smoke and lighting effects the bluegrass, folk, ragtime and blues of the Devil Makes Three provided the day’s final set, which featured “Hallelu” and “Do Wrong Right.”